Couple shares painful lesson on car safety

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Brain Pearse and his wife lost their two children, Kiara and Jameel, in a car accident four years ago.  Now, to spare others that pain, they are raising awareness about the importance of wearing your seat belt through their group, K&J Foundation.

"I don't want any parent to go through we endure and what we live with: losing your children," said Brian Pearse. "We can come out, tell a story, and help remind somebody to wear a seat belt and save a life. That's all that matters."

To raise awareness to kids, the foundation hosted a putt-putt golf tournament with special activities. A simulator from the Mississippi Department of Transportation was used to show kids exactly why a seat belt is important.

The simulator looks like a fair ride where you sit in a car seat, buckle in, and ride down a ramp.  The chair abruptly stops at the bottom, creating the same force as a crash at five miles per hour.

"This gives people a very good understanding of what your body goes through in a crash," said Mississippi Highway Patrolman Corp. John Poulos."We lose lives every day. That simple little click does make a big difference."

After several crash demos, the kids got back to the games.  However, the point was made.

When asked what she would think about when she got into a car, teenager Tiffany Cherry immediately said, "Put on a seat belt. Put it on."

To participate in the tournament, groups paid a fee.  All of the proceeds will go towards scholarships given to Harrison County seniors by the K&J Foundation.

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